New Years celebrations are over, and the Super Bowl celebrations have come to an end.
As a result, garbage cans across the country are filled to their sticky brims with cheap sparkling cider bottles.
Bottles that are, fittingly enough, wrapped in needless ceremonial plastic.
On top of the bottles are countless celebration banners, and on top of those are crumpled paper party hats.
This practice of scraping all of your party trash mindlessly into Oscar the Grouch’s living room is a common practice for many inhabitants of North America.
Most people aren’t paying attention to what they’re throwing away.
Most certainly aren’t thinking about if they’re disposing of their waste in the correct place.
But I would like to believe Mercyhurst University students would have a set of higher standards regarding their disposal of waste.
After all, this university prides itself on its sustainability, and posters all around campus emphasize the importance of recycling.
However, after living in this community for the past year and a half, I have realized that our standards are only a few steps above burning garbage in nearby dumpsters.
We may as well get rid of our liquid waste by just cutting out the middle man and pouring it in Lake Erie directly.
That may sound a bit extreme but Mercyhurst has more than a little room for improvement in this regard.
Walk into Zurn and take a peek in one of the recycling containers.
I have no doubt that after a quick peek, you will understand what I mean.
You may see freshly licked envelopes, piles of shredded paper shavings, and a couple random postcards from a study abroad program.
Spot which one of these items that can’t be recycled in Erie county?
The answer is literally all of them!
I have found all of these items in recycling containers on campus.
And that is a shame, because odds are that whole bag will be shipped off to the man-made mountain of a landfill located next to the casino.
It’ll be treated like any old bag of waste.
Chances are if you’re recycling, you want to avoid having your waste being treated in that fashion.
This is a clear indication of a lack of recycling education on campus.
It doesn’t take a person with a Ph.D. in environmental engineering to comprehend the reuse recycle program.
But the addition of something as simple as up to date eye catching posters could just start to do the trick.
Most students don’t know that there are actually limits on what you can and cannot recycle in Erie county, and end up throwing actual waste into recycling bins as a result.
Maybe signs showing what you can and cannot throw into a recycling bin would help educate people on where their waste should be disposed.
If you still don’t believe this is a real issue, please stop a person walking through Trinity Green and ask them if they can recycle a glass bottle in a blue recycling bin.
If you can get a person to actually verbally communicate with you then they will most likely not know that you can no longer recycle glass bottles and jars in the blue bins in Erie County.
To learn more on what you can and can’t do with your waste visit Erie County Courthouse’s official website.
I know that the Mercyhurst University community can do better than this.
We pride ourselves on our sustainability, and that’s a good thing to pride ourselves on.
But we really need to live up to our promises both to ourselves and to the environment around us.